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In this historical geography unit, students follow the changes in the ancient African city of Timbuktu from its founding to today.

Grade: 6

Time: 2-3 weeks

Identify and apply the sociological elements of culture. Apply the elements of culture to a contemporary understanding of North Africa. Utilize scholarly research sources in order to create a reliable product.

Lesson Plan


Timbuktu, Mali, is the legendary city founded as a commercial center in West Africa nine hundred years ago. Dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the ancient manuscripts presented in this exhibition cover every aspect of human endeavor and are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages.


I found this great video on Umm Rashid’s blog Always Learning

Kingdom of Mali

Provided by Boston University African Studies Center

Level: High School

A primary source document describing the visit to Cairo in 1324 by the King of Mali, Mansa Musa, and written by Al-Umari, who visited Cairo several years after the Mansa Musa’s visit.

Kingdom of Mali

Mali – Ancient Crossroads of Africa

Elementary Lesson Plans

Middle and High School Lesson Plans

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Lesson Plans

Development in Africa:
A High School Economics Curriculum

Source: Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program
Morocco and Mali, Summer 2006

Author: Robyn Sperling – Manhattan Hunter Science High School, New York, NY

Development in Africa: Morocco and Mali (doc.)


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